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Title: The experiences of school pupils (11-18) in the zeitgeist of performativity and accountability
Author: Matthias, Nigel Allen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 7033
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis illuminates the educational experiences of school pupils (11-18) in a culture of performativity and accountability. It explores the tension between accountability, autonomy and performativity in English schools within an historical context and elucidates the experience of individuals within the English state school system. The study uses a biographical approach to explore the experiences of individuals who have recently experienced the English education system over the course of school years 7 to 13. Single-question narrative interviews were conducted with four participants who had recently completed compulsory education. These experiences are analysed through the lens of Literary Narrative Analysis (LNA) rather than more conventional methods. The thesis explores how the traditional methods of analysing literary texts can also provide a useful tool for the analysis of narrative interviews. The findings demonstrate that there is an orthodoxy in the narratives of participants' school lives, suggesting an unwitting acquiescence to the masterplots authored by the pervasive grammar of the broader education system. Within these masterplots there are episodes of enlightenment and equilibrium, exchanges with inspirational characters and epiphanies through friendship and engagement in music and the arts. Teachers appear as both protagonists and antagonists, but participants' narratives are also replete with dark plots of falling action and catastrophe, with their lexis replete with references to stress and anxiety, strengthened by powerful figurative representations of death and zoomorphic metaphors. The thesis concludes that government policy for surveillance and quality assurance of the school system must also enable provision for supporting young people as individuals, providing equally valued opportunities for the study of the arts as well as in the core academic subjects.
Supervisor: Byrne, Jennifer ; Nind, Melanie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available